PERL BASICS

It is very easy to forget that some people have no experience with perl scripts. As I build this website, I often take for granted that people understand the most basic concepts of using perl scripts.

I think this is a good place to outline some of the more basic unmentioned concepts you will need to understand.

The path to perl is always the first line of every program. Normally "#!/usr/bin/perl". But another common location is /usr/local/bin/perl or sometimes the exact version of perl such as /usr/bin/perl5.8.

It is important that this line always points to the location of perl in your server. In most cases the system administrator has added symbolic links to the actual path to perl, knowing programers distribute programs in varried configurations. So more than likely, your program will work with /usr/bin/perl or /usr/local/bin/perl.

The second most unmentioned conept is that perl scripts are text files. So they must be uploaed in ASC format and not Binary. Uploading a perl script in Binary mode will render the script useless.

A perl script is a program. For a program to run, it must have permission. That is why we change the mode or chmod 0755 most of the executeable programs.

You can use the chmod command from the command line, but most people do not have root access. Any FTP program will also include the ability to set file permissions without root access. So when you see chmod 0777 used in the instructions, you are probably more familiar with setting permissions with rwx-rwx-rwx.

A perl program normally uses a .pl or .cgi extension. The program can run as almost any extension if the server is confgured to readt that extension as a perl program. Since 99.9% of the webmasters do not configure their own servers, we stick with the 2 best know extensions.

Most of the scripts offered on this website are displayed at .txt files. You will need to change the file extension to .cgi or .pl to use it. In most cases .cgi if it is part of a group of files, so it will match up with the other programs in its set. As long as you change all the references in all the files to .pl, you can use either in most cases.

Setting paths in the configuration is necessary in most programs. That means you need to know the server path to your web directory and or data directory. Since every webserver is at the mercy of the administrator, those paths could be anything.

You will commonly see programs with /foo/bar/directory or /path/to/directory. This is just a place holder for you to change to the actual paths to your directories.

We could have a detailed step by step list of instructions to instal all the programs at bumblebeeware.com. But the site is geared tward developers and hackers. So rather than teach the basics we assume you already understand how to install and configure a script.

Many of the instalation elements are ommitted because they are presumed known. If you are having trouble installing a program, do some reading on perl basics and it will make working with perl much easier.